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Title: Small reactor power systems for manned planetary surface bases

A preliminary feasibility study of the potential application of small nuclear reactor space power systems to manned planetary surface base missions was conducted. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess the technology, performance, and safety issues associated with integration of reactor power systems with an evolutionary manned planetary surface exploration scenario. The requirements and characteristics of a variety of human-rated modular reactor power system configurations selected for a range of power levels from 25 kWe to hundreds of kilowatts is described. Trade-off analyses for reactor power systems utilizing both man-made and indigenous shielding materials are provided to examine performance, installation and operational safety feasibility issues. The results of this study have confirmed the preliminary feasibility of a wide variety of small reactor power plant configurations for growth oriented manned planetary surface exploration missions. The capability for power level growth with increasing manned presence, while maintaining safe radiation levels, was favorably assessed for nominal 25 to 100 kWe modular configurations. No feasibility limitations or technical barriers were identified and the use of both distance and indigenous planetary soil material for human rated radiation shielding were shown to be viable and attractive options.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5490023
Report Number(s):
N-88-13209; NASA-TM-100223; E-3839; NAS-1.15:100223
DOE Contract Number:
AI03-86SF16310
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH (USA). Lewis Research Center
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; PLANETS; PACKAGE REACTORS; REACTOR SAFETY; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; POWER PLANTS; POWER REACTORS; REACTORS; SAFETY; THERMAL POWER PLANTS; TRANSPORTABLE REACTORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 210600* -- Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable